Unique Sources for Research

On June 11, 2019 I wrote an article calling for the viewers of this blog to help by sending in articles that might interest our 850+ readers. I received one article and I want to thank the person that sent it in.

Last weekend the WSGS board met and we are going to try to get articles by having an idea to write articles about. This is the first one on unique sources for your research that may be hidden in your genealogical society library, a local museum, or privately owned.

Eastern Washington Genealogical Society had collected what we called the postal forwarding books. They were city directories that had been taken apart, 4 blank lined pages added between each city directory page then they were rebound in books about an inch thick, so you might get a 1915 A as one book, 1915 B another book and so on. EWGS has about 200 of these books, earliest is 1903 and the last ones are in WWII. There are many missing letters. We contacted the post office in Washington DC to see is this was done anywhere else in the country, and they were surprised any post office did this. Unlike normal city directories that only went to the city limits, the postal forwarding addresses also includes county residents that had their mail forwarded also.

1915 L-Mc page

Notice the red line in each column, the page is divided into 4 parts, pages 1 and 2 in the left column and pages 3 and 4 in the right column. Notice also some of the new addresses are in this page where they crossed out the old address and added the new address.

1915 Page 3 forwarding addresses

Notice some people moved several times Miss Agnes McLean has 4 addresses on this page, the first three crossed out. Most new addresses are still in Spokane, but many are in other cities or states.

1915 Postal Forwarding addresses Page 4

These books used to be on the shelves in the genealogy section of the Spokane Public library, but their condition got so bad they were pulled and put in storage in the library. You could still look at them but you had to ask at the office for someone to bring it up from storage. A grant from Washington Digital Heritage has allowed the library to start putting them online so everyone can have access. 1915 and older are online here:

So do you know of a unique source that would interest other genealogists? Write a small article preferably in Word, with or without graphics and send it to me Charles Hansen at CharlesMike4903@gmail.com

2 comments on “Unique Sources for Research

  1. Lora Rose says:

    I’ve followed a plethora of people in early Spokane using these terrific resources. It’s a tremendous resource and thank you for sharing the information here as well as the grant giving access online.

  2. Virginia Majewski says:

    Great article Charles! What a wonderful resource.

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